If At First You Don’t Succeed…
Making your way as an entrepreneur is never going to be easy. Sure, you might have a “head for business”, and that makes the process more manageable without a doubt, but without putting in a lot of hard work the chances of sustained success will inevitably be limited. This is important to remember, because the path to business success is littered with companies and individuals who had good ideas and vision but when frustrated at an early stage failed to drive forwards in the way they would have hoped to. It is easy to become discouraged, especially when there is money in the equation, but the people who find real success are the ones who realize that problem solving is an indispensable part of business.
One of the major problems that arises in business is a slow start. You have an idea and find a way to put it into action. You have good contacts and feel you have advertised well, but for one reason or another there is not the take-up on your offers that you would have hoped for. This is a situation that can arise for any number of reasons. You need two things to overcome this problem, and they are very different things. Firstly you need to be able to analyse well. There will be a reason things didn’t go as hoped. Did you think through your advertising campaign? Have you priced your service too high? Was there some slippage between what you promised and what you could deliver? These are just three reasons, and it may be that you find another reason.
The second thing you need is the tenacity to avoid getting discouraged. A business going wrong can be one of the most painful things to happen to a person, after divorce, bereavement and serious injury. It can be hard to separate the business from your personal identity, so if you feel that people do not like the business, you might extrapolate from that a personal slight against you. In actual fact, there is every reason why things might have failed in spite of you rather than because of you. Be forensic in looking for reasons why things went wrong, positive in applying a solution and honest in sticking to it.
Think about other things that didn’t quite take off at the first attempt but which are managing perfectly well now. Think about businesses and people who even went bankrupt once or more before they pulled things around, like Walt Disney and Henry Ford. That is the level of tenacity you need. No-one’s saying you should push things until you go bankrupt, but if you can rally yourself when things don’t begin encouragingly, you can be successful. In fact, it may be that it is what makes you successful. Every time you solve a problem, you learn something – something which is almost certain to be useful later on in your life. For this reason you need to roll with the punches from time to time. Combine wisdom with perseverance, and you will succeed.
First Published: Aug 8, 2009 EntrepreneurJourney.com